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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,068
    edited September 2011
    Tell us about the delivery routine. How were you treated, etc. Involve us.

    BTW -- congratulations!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    Some models list weight (almost certainly dry weight) and some "curb weight". You also have to add in supplies and so on (chains, battery cables, maps, etc). Some cars don't include the spare tire in the weight as well, as it's optional.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,496
    I will - but likely not until sometime this weekend.
    - Ray
    Busy, tired & jet-lagged...
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,092
    Mark....fact is, regardless of more weight (these cars don't weigh near what the ones I've seen from the '60s-'70s weigh), your TL will outperform any TL that came before it. Same goes for most models.

    Ray...congrats on the new car. Would also love to hear about the delivery.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,068
    edited September 2011
    I am pretty well convinced that my 2012 TL will outperform my 2009 A4 2.0T, too. The Audi, which has Audi Drive Select, can be put into "dynamic" mode and that makes the steering more responsive and the dampers more firm and the transmission shift at higher speeds. It has 19" wheels with Ultra High Performance Yoko S.Advan (?) all-season tires (35% aspect ratio).

    It has rear wheel drive biased quattro and last but not least has 211HP and 258 lb ft of torque with the power going through a 6 speed automatic "tiptronic" transmission.

    It, the Audi that is, is and has been great fun to drive and it is confidence inspiring to the max.

    The TL isn't quite as hunkered down feeling, but it is wider and has about a 1" shorter wheelbase. It is nose heavier than the Audi (but not a whole lot), rides on similar tires (but not Ultra High Performance) of 40% aspect ratio is front biased AWD, but also includes torque vectoring. It feels a bit softer than the A4, it is quieter and feels a bit larger -- but it has 305HP and 274 lb feet of torque, and when properly applied when cornering, the damn thing seems to be able to magically go from a nose heavy understeering blob, to an oversteering (slightly) taught, tight curve carver.

    The Audi probably can cut the corners about at the same speeds, or maybe higher than the Acura, even without torque vectoring -- but when coming out of the curve the 305HP allows the Acura to always show the Audi its tail lights.

    My Audi, all in, was $49K (MSRP) The Acura, just south of $48K -- at these prices power rules. And, overall the Acura is a very nice place to spend some time either behind the wheel or as a passenger enjoying the ventilated seats (that the Audi lacks).

    Said it before, irrational as it might be, if the Audi were the same lease price per month as the Acura (that is about $200 less), I would have gone with another Audi -- just for that special something that only a German car seems to offer.


    Couldn't see the price per month delta though and that seems rational. I am overall quite pleased with the Acura and if they continue to improve and move forward AND keep their value prop, well, I could become a TRUE BELIEVER.

    You know, though, any of these cars are pretty damn nice.

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,092
    You know, though, any of these cars are pretty damn nice.

    That....we absolutely agree upon!

    Your TL, my 3, the Audis....all of them do amazing things, as they should, at the price points they sell at.

    They do so dynamically, comfortably.....

    I know I averaged about 21 MPG on my TL SH AWD. I'm averaging about 24 MPG on my 335i (which amazes me even more). I don't baby my cars, either.

    These cars have come far.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    graphicguy & markincincinati - I think the 2 major things you'll both notice that are different between your current & former TL SH AWD & current BMW & Audi are:

    Steering. Having never driven a TL SH AWD, just my 2010 TSX, I can tell you the electric power steering stinks. Road feel is non-existant at low speeds. At higher speeds it is really nice and tight though.

    Brakes. There is a reason that my TSX is less expensive than pretty much every other car in this segment. Acura honda had to cut corners somewhere. The brakes on my TSX are terrible. Nothing at all like BMW's RIGHT NOW brakes with their incredible pedal firmness & physics defying stopping ability.

    Obviously power is different too. Mark's Acura is definitely faster than his former A4, while graphicguy's 335 has the ability to outrun pretty much 90% of the normal cars on the road

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737
    I had a 1998 A4 (6 cyl) and have an '05 TL. Differences between the two:

    - TL has more electronic goodies (but 7 year newer car)
    - TL poorer handler, wallows in turns
    - TL's climate control much quieter
    - Audi interior clearly nicer
    - Audi control feel and driving feel clearly better
    - Audi inspired much more passion
    - Audi extremely expensive to maintain, the few things that broke were a LOT
    - Acura has been outstandingly reliable and cheap to maintain
  • sweendogysweendogy Posts: 1,106
    Breaks are not the only thing that makes the acura tsx less expensive. 4 vtek which is in every other honda product prob being the biggest saver of money for the acura car, lets not forget the accord platform. Its not really a sports sedan but more of a sporty sedan, as 90% of them are sold with automatics. (same thing with the TL, nice rig for sure but not a true sports sedan- even in sh-awd form) Closest to the germans is Infiniti by far-- rear wheel drive, good breaks, sports packages, manual transmissions (which are sadly going away) . Cars from the far east are closer then they have ever been but its going to be interesting to see what car companies do in the upcoming years as they need to keep up with MPG mandates - I know BMW will be bringing a 4cy to the states soon, Acura can use the turbo 4 it already produces, infiniti will team with MB for its next line of engines, should be interesting.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    I might be mistaken, but off the top of my head the only other Honda Product that uses the exact same motor (2.4L - 201 hp - 176 lb/ft torque) is the Civic Si.

    I'll agree with you that under extreme circumstances, my TSX shows it's Accord Platform roots. We have some seriously twisty back roads here in southwestern Connecticut. There's one particular road where the sign shows "S" curves for 1 mile with a 15 mph suggested speed limit. My TSX shows the flaws in it's chassis.

    Like many here have said, price aside, I'd choose a BMW.

    Every single car in this segment shines in it's own way. A 3 series equipped like my TSX (or even a TL) costs significantly more, has a smaller back seat, & a smaller trunk.

    The 3 series is sharper, handles better, drives much better overall.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662's a little hard to compare a 98 A4 with even an 05 A4...model change in 02 then again in 05.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    These references to the Accord platform and Acura's not being a true sport sedan are baseless.

    So all those Audi A4's built on the Volkswagon B6 platform aren't sport sedans either?

    And I suppose the BMW 3-series isn't really a sport sedan because it shares a platform with an SUV and a FWD car?
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,737's a little hard to compare a 98 A4 with even an 05 A4...model change in 02 then again in 05.

    I don't think the general characteristics between Acura and Audi (driving feel, interiors, costs, reliability) have changed in any fundamental way over the time period.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,662
    I do...way back, I had a 97 A4 and it felt, drove, smelled...very differently from the 05's. Not vastly like going from a Hummer H1 to a Fiat 500...

    I originally intended to convey that a 05 TL should be compared to a 05 A4...even if the 'old' Audi was superior in specific categories.

    Reliability: Last time I compared JD Powers manufacturers reliability the "new" Audi's were on par (problems per 100 vehicles) with Toyota's from 5 years ago.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,092
    nyc.....interesting compare and contrast. My BMW does indeed drive better than my TL SH AWD. That said, the TL was no slouch. Neither were the TSX and RSX I had as loaners. Acura captures a good amount of the BMW feel.

    Also, little things I've noticed....the HVAC in my TL was better in getting to, and holding temps, hot or cold, with no "fried feet" or "frozen nose" affect.

    My 335i is fast....very fast....and will let me corner at any speed that my nerves will allow.

    Seats were better in the TL. If you care, the stereo in the TL was a big step up vs the one in my 3 (which is actually the upgraded Harmon Kardon stereo). I've driven a lot of premium cars. The stereo in the TL tech package surpasses all of them, by a pretty fair margin.

    Transmission (autos)....hands down better in the 3....which has one of the best I've ever experienced.

    Build quality, the BMW gets the nod. As good as Acura is (and Acura is very, very good), BMW is better with gaps, paint, etc.

    Reliability, hard to say, this is my 3rd BMW and I never had any issues with any of them. But, I've had 3 Acuras, too. Never had any issues with any of them, either.

    I know me, though. 3 years down the road, I'll be looking for something else.

    However, given what I'm hearing that 4 cyl (even with turbos) will be the calling card for BMW, I'd probably look elsewhere.

    I'm fearful powerful 6es, with turbos, gobs of torque everywhere, may not be in BMW's radar in a few years. Hope that's not the case, though.

    The motor in my 335i is one of the sweetest I've ever driven, as was the 3.7L in the TL.
  • Still putting down Acuras but always inquiring about the next generation TL.
    Its either you love the brand or just shop somewhere else.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,068
    edited September 2011
    . . .I can tell you that the Acura is not an Audi (DOH!) but as mine is equipped (2012 TL SH-AWD Advance Package), it is a capable car. Believable as an EL Luxury Performance Sedan -- totally believable. It would be more believeable if Acura had chosen the best available Ultra High Performance A/S shoes instead of the "OK" Goodyear RS-A's. My 2009 Audi A4 was special ordered with the sport package, which at the time included 19" 35 series Max Performance Dunlops, Sport Seats and 3 Spoke Sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and a lowered and stiffened suspension. I also configured mine with a $3,000 option called Audi Drive Select which would actually further stiffen the ride via firming the shocks when you pressed Dynamic mode.

    I was given, many times, 2009, 2010 and 2011 A4 Premium Plus versions as loaners -- none of them had sport packages or Audi Drive Select.

    A new A4, even in Prestige dress (but without the sport package option or SLine and Audi Drive Select), feels softer and demonstrates greater body roll than my new TL. A new A4 minus the sport package lacks the bolstered seats (which the TL has) and any attempt to throw the car into curves causes your butt to slip slide away and the A4 in standard suspension trim demonstrates a fair amount of body roll. Meanwhile the TL grips you as you accelerate hard whilst in a corner and the torque vectoring makes the car damn near PIVOT through the corner.

    The TL is not an A4 and it is, duh, also not an S4. However when talking about these cars' abilities in the twisties, the TL behaves more like an A4 with the SLine or Sport Package and pulls hard enough to "allow you to imagine" IMAGINE you are feeling the urge that accompanies pressing the accelerator of an S4 way south. In other words, the TL is caught somewhere between an A4 2.0T Prestige with the Sport Package and Audi Drive Select and an S4 Prestige with the sport differential.

    Given a magic wand, I would have the S4 Prestige with ADS+Sport Diff -- in a hearbeat.

    But, without magic, the $12,000 difference (that the S4 commands) tends to change one's mind.

    This time, even the A4 2.0T Prestige w/Sport priced me out of the Audi market -- especially AFTER I had driven the TL Advance back to back with a 2011 A4 (which, admittedly did NOT have the sport package.)

    That it takes -- essentially -- a $50,000+ Audi A4 SLine (mine lacked SLine trim bits) to subjectively feel as performance oriented as the TL Advance, says SOMETHING about Acura -- yet, at this point in my experience (1,000 miles), I'm not exactly sure what that something is.

    The next gen TL is probably the one to make me a repeat and perhaps long-term believer or make me somehow pony up the coin for another Audi. :surprise:
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Not too sure what people in this forum have been smoking,why are you talking about a S4 and a Acura TL together??? Not even close in comparison...

    Not too sure even if I would compare the A4 to a TL since the TL is a bigger car with more interior volume.

    What I find interesting is, it appears Audi has dropped the sport package from the A4 line up, not too sure if that was a smart move for them.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,393
    markincincinnati & graphicguy

    Funny how the 3 of us are at opposite ends of the financial spectrum in our lives, yet have similar tastes & tolerances when it comes to cars.

    The seats in my TSX is one thing that I absolutely LOVE! They are thickly bolstered, firm, & super comfortable. They do a fantastic job keeping my narrow, 150 lb rear end from sliding around during aggressive handling maneuvers.

    The main thing that fueled the purchase of my TSX was fuel economy. Back in August 2009 I had a 1990 BMW 325i I bought about a year earlier that wouldn't pass NY state inspection & my trusted mechanic told me I should either find a new engine or start paying him to tear the car's Inline 6 apart to find out what was wrong.

    Cash 4 Clunkers came about and I realized my car qualified for a $3500 rebate. I was also going to need a car in the next year because the lease on our 2007 X3 was going to end & we were in danger of going way over our 45,000 allotted miles.

    So I wanted a car that drove great, had a roomy back seat (for our 2 child safety seats), & a generously sized trunk (to accommodate our double stroller).

    I headed straight to an Audi dealer to drive an A4 Avant. I drove a Premium model & thought it was OK, nothing special. I was also frightened at the prospect of owning an Audi for the long haul.

    I went an drove a Mini Cooper S Clubman which I didn't like. A very awkward car. Lots of blindspots. Lifeless and very disconnected electric power steering. Rubbery shifter. Clutch with a high take up point.

    I then stopped by an Acura dealer, drove the TSX & said to myself, I really like this car. It drives like a 4 door version of my 2001 Prelude Type SH. It is by no means perfect, but for the price, it rocks.

    I've got 2 sons (5 & 2 1/2) and a daughter on the way in early December. Cars are expensive (especially the ones I like). Right now I do too much driving (TSX is 2 years old & has over 40K, while Pilot is 4 months old with 7,000 miles) to lease. Leasing is also very expensive. Nor can I afford to buy cash & trade every 2-3 years.

    I plan to pay off my car loans in 5 years & keep them for at least 10 years (assuming no mechanical catastrophies or god forbid accidents) so we can (re)build our savings towards retirement & our Children's college educations.

    I've owned exclusively new cars since I got my license at 16 (besides my E30 BMW which was a project car). I love the way BMWs drive so much that if something happens to my Acura, I'd look for a CPO BMW 335 with the N55 in a heartbeat.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,092
    flightnurse....having test driven a couple of S4s, and having owned a TL SH AWD, I can honestly say that the TL SH AWD is closer to the S4 than Audi would care to admit. Then, there's the big price delta that you have to consider.

    Mark.....I did indeed find both the A4 (S-line) and S4 "softer" than the TL. Not that it's a bad thing....just something I noticed. I really loved the TL SH AWD's seats....some of the best in any car I've owned. They hold you well without cramping. Or, maybe my body type is best made for Acura's sport seats.

    NYC....IIRC, I think I've got a decade or so in age on you. However, I can see you going down my same car desire path. If you don't have any more children (go ahead, have a bunch more), you'll get out of the "I need a people hauler" mode and start bouncing around the top German and Japanese lux brands as your preferences.

    Don't see you in a Lexus. I can see you in a TL, or another 3, probably a 5er at some point.....maybe an A6. ;)
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